By Diane Rommel / May 9, 2019

The 7 Best Affordable Cocktail Joints in the Bay Area

A martini, and change back for your trouble

Agricole best cheap bars san francisco
This is what a bar looks like. Why overthink it?
Agricole

We keep hearing about the latest $20 cocktail as if that’s some sort of accomplishment.

The real magic is happening at the other end of the price spectrum. Seven-dollar Manhattan, anyone?

For those drinks, consider this your cocktail bucket-list, with not a single option over $11, and fully half of them under 10 bucks.

Facebook/@hotsytotsyclub

Hotsy Totsy Club

The Chronicle called the Hotsy Totsy — aka the oldest bar in Albany, est. 1939 — a “Bay Area favorite” just a few weeks ago, and we can only hope the praise won’t go to its wonderfully humble head. Order: the $10 Paloma Rosa.

601 San Pablo Ave., Albany

Instagram/@baragricole

Bar Agricole

Happy hour here is literally only an hour (5-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday), but it’s worth penciling that in for the dollar oysters and a rotating $7(!) cocktail.

355 11th Street

Fauna

Fauna

Do you enjoy a powerful rum punch — maybe outside of a tiki environment? Come to Fauna (sister establishment to next-door Flora) for the $8 concoction. Other cocktails top out at $11.

1900 Telegraph Ave., Oakland

Instagram/@starline_social_club

Starline Social Club

Maybe you’re here for one of the Starline’s DJ nights or other events — so maybe duck out of work early enough to get here for the $8 martinis during the two-hour happy hour. The regular, slightly more labor intensive cocktails reach a comfortable $12.

2236 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland

Instagram/@harperandrye

Harper & Rye

On a quieter (read: less frat-centric) night, the $11 Brit & Kel is a steal, with California green chile vodka, lime, simple syrup and red pepper oil.

1695 Polk Street

Instagram/@sf_hiloclub via @__jamie.l

Hi-Lo

Al the cocktails here are a budget-friendly $10, including the bartender’s choice Cocktail of the Week. For our money? The Czech Mule, with Becherovka, ginger beer and fresh lime.

1423 Polk Street

Instagram/@prizefigherbar

Prizefighter

Seven bucks? That’s as cheap as you’re gonna find for a cocktail mixed by a professional, rather than swirled in a cup above your sink. Take your pick of a Manhattan or Joan Collins, with vodka, lemon, raspberry and soda.

6702 Hollis St., Emeryville